"The New School for Drama will help you identify your secret, your emotional truth, your organic voice. I know many artists who never touch that voice, but the brilliant artist always owns that secret. And when you enter the professional world, you know there’s only one you in the industry."
—Robert LuPone, former Director
At The New School for Drama, the instinct to create is revered. The actor is encouraged to stretch the fabric of his or her talent through a combination of techniques, including the rigor of Alexander—an exacting voice and speech curriculum that coordinates several systems of training—and the acting techniques of Stanislavski; the playwright, through one-act festivals and main-stage productions, is trained within the context of real-world conditions that augment and enhance his or her individuality; and the director is encouraged to learn what the word "story" means and how to conceive and create visionary theater.
A faculty of working professionals brings to the fore each student's unique and original voice. The three-year MFA program is progressive—students begin with self-discovery, explore more technical crafts in the second year, and finish by writing, directing, and acting in full productions, as well as by developing a business plan for after graduation. Ultimately, students establish a rooted sense of who they are as individuals and how they may join, collaboratively, in finding their own artisanship.
The New School has a history of supporting the dramatic arts. In the 1940s, the Dramatic Workshop, led by its founder Erwin Piscator and a faculty including Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, fostered artistic voices as distinctive as Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando. Since 1994, the university has offered the MFA degree in dramatic arts.